Rivals.com - All-Decade: Comparing top team rankings - 2010 vs. 2020
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All-Decade: Comparing top team rankings - 2010 vs. 2020

MORE ALL-DECADE: Top QBs | Top RBs | Top WRs/TEs | Top OL | Programs trending up, down | Biggest busts | Ranking the No. 1s | Crazy recruiting storylines in 2010

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Position | Team | State

Rivals.com continues its look back at the last decade in recruiting by juxtaposing the top of the 2010 team rankings with the top of the current class-of-2020 team rankings. Some names are the same and some are different, but there has been movement of both the subtle and drastic variety. And that, of course, starts at the top.

The first obvious discrepancy when comparing the two rankings is that 2010 recruiting champion USC, which signed four five-stars and 13 four-stars in 2010, is nowhere to be found in the 2019 top 20. That, of course, is the product of uncertainty caused by what most see as an inevitable coaching change. Recruits have been hesitant to sign with a program led by a lame-duck coach, so USC currently sits at No. 69, behind programs such as Indiana, Cincinnati and Kansas State while it mulls head coach Clay Helton’s future.

The Trojans’ crosstown rivals, UCLA, is also missing from the 2020 list, as the Chip Kelly Era in Westwood has gotten off to a slow start on the recruiting trail, thanks in part to the touted head coach’s 7-15 record at the school.

The fact that Cal checked in at No. 11 in the final 2020 team rankings and is nowhere to be found in the current top 20 is more bad news for the Pac-12. The Bears have cracked the top 20 just one other time (2011) since the start of the decade, highlighting the larger decline of the league as a whole.

Then, there’s the good news. No team improved its stock more than Clemson, as the Tigers started the 2010s ranked 19th in recruiting but are the favorite to win this year’s recruiting title. Texas A&M’s move to the SEC clearly improved its recruiting, as the Aggies were never a contender to crack the top five before making the switch in conference affiliation. Ohio State’s 2010 ranking of 25 was a bit of an anomaly, as the Buckeyes were in the midst of NCAA rules scandal that ultimately resulted in a one-year postseason ban and the removal of head coach Jim Tressel. Alabama has won six recruiting titles in the 2010s, but it started the decade near the back of the top 5, which is also where it currently ranks. Penn State, which peaked at No. 5 in 2018, checks in at No. 12 on both lists.

Breaking down the top progams 
Program  Current ranking  2010 class 

LSU

1

6

CLEMSON

2

19

OHIO STATE

3

25

ALABAMA

4

5

TEXAS A&M

5

17

GEORGIA

6

15

TEXAS

7

3

MICHIGAN

8

20

AUBURN

9

4

FLORIDA

10

2

OREGON

11

13

PENN STATE

12

12

OKLAHOMA

13

7

NORTH CAROLINA

14

29

MIAMI

15

16

NOTRE DAME

16

14

WASHINGTON

17

28

TENNESSEE

18

9

SOUTH CAROLINA

19

24

FLORIDA STATE

20

10